Former DFL congressman Rick Nolan is leading Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, 46 percent to 45 percent, according to a SurveyUSA/KSTP poll of 578 likely voters taken Oct. 7-8.
Nolan's 1 percentage point lead falls within the poll's 4.2 percent margin of error.
Another poll taken during the same time period has Nolan's lead slightly larger. That survey is an internal Nolan campaign poll and concludes Nolan is leading Cravaack, 48 percent to 44 percent. The Nolan campaign publicized its poll results to make the case Nolan has gained ground in his effort to win in the district.
Cravaack and Nolan are locked in what's believed to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the country following Cravaack's 2010 upset victory over 18-term DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar. More than a dozen outside special interest groups are on track to outspend the campaigns in the race.
Cravaack and Nolan held their first debate on Tuesday in Duluth. They are scheduled to meet for three more debates between now and Election Day.
Cravaack campaign adviser Ben Golnik responded with this statement:
"Today, the Cravaack for Congress campaign announced its largest fundraising quarter to date, over $471,000. Despite millions of dollars of misleading and false attack ads from outside groups, Chip Cravaack will continue to communicate his positive pro-growth message to bring more jobs back to the 8th District. This message is resonating -- according to a public poll released yesterday, Chip Cravaack leads with independent voters by a 53-36 margin. Cravaack continues to pick up endorsements from Reagan Democrats and independents across the district."